WARM tributes have been paid to a sixth year Webster’s High School pupil who died suddenly in her sleep on Thursday of a mystery illness.
Claire Taylor (17) was struck down by an unknown viral infection just over two weeks ago, but her condition deteriorated during Wednesday evening and she died on Thursday at her family home in the Glengate, despite attempts by paramedics to save her life.
Her sudden death at such a young age has left her parents, brothers and friends at Webster’s devastated.
Her heartbroken mum, Helen, said the whole family was “distraught” over the loss of the “popular wee girl”.
She said: “We don’t even know what it was yet, just some kind of viral infection or something. She had the virus for about two-and-a-half weeks. It just got steadily worse and worse.”
Claire’s dad Malcolm described his daughter as a “wee firecracker” who dreamed of becoming a dietician.
He said: “She was small and blonde and a real worker. She set her heart on being a dietician and she was working towards that. She was a grafter who gave everything 110 per cent - everything was full on. She was the geography prefect at Webster’s as well and she loved that. She liked baking cakes - that would have been her second choice of career, to be a confectioner and make cakes.”
Claire was also a keen dancer, having attended classes in Glamis from the age of five.
Claire’s brothers Andrew (19) and Douglas (14) have been hit particularly hard.
Malcolm added: “We’re all in shock. Claire and Dougie were inseparable when they were younger. Andrew is just numb and Dougie is heartbroken.”
The family home has attracted a steady stream of Claire’s friends wanting to pass on their condolences.
Helen added; “We had 17 beautiful years with her and we’ll always remember the good times - there were heaps of those. We’d like to thank all of her friends for their kind words and their love for Claire over the years. She was a very sociable wee girl. She had her main group of friends, but she was very popular outside of that too.”
The Kirriemuir community and the school community at Webster’s was left stunned with the news the popular teenager had passed away.
Paying tribute to their friend a group of Webster’s pupils told the Dispatch and Herald: “Claire was a vibrant, popular and enthusiastic member of Webster’s High school sixth year. She was involved in the whole school with responsibilities as Geography Prefect, S1 Buddy and was part of the sales team of Young Enterprise. Using her talents as a dancer with the Sandra Wright School of Dance she was an invaluable member of our Rock Challenge where she brought her skills to the choreography of this year’s production. As an accomplished singer and musician she would have made a valuable contribution to this year’s Talent Show.
“In the wider community of Kirriemuir, Claire was a member of the Kirriemuir Operatic Society and was heavily involved in their yearly productions. She will be sorely missed by the residents of the Storyville Care Home where she had a part time job and she touched the hearts of the residents with her winning smile and compassion. As a much loved and valued member of the school community she will be sadly missed.”